Zentyal, formerly known as eBox Platform, is a multi-purpose Linux Ubuntu remastered and it’s based on Ubuntu server 10.04 (LTS). It can function as a network gateway, unified threat manager, office server, infrastructure manager, and a unified communications server. The project’s source code is available under terms of the GNU General Public License, as well as under a variety of proprietary agreements. Zentyal is owned and sponsored by a single for-profit firm, the Spanish company eBox Technologies S.L., which holds the copyright to the codebase
The declared goal of this software it’s to be an alternative for small and medium business to Windows.
The installation is basically the textual installation of Ubuntu 10.04.
Once installed you’ll have an LXDE desktop with a few application installed (Firefox, an image viewer, an editor and not much else), remember that the goal is to have a server that provides network services, and in fact the strength of Zentyal is its Web interface for the management and administration of various services.
After the reboot the first thing you’ll have to do is choose which modules you want to install on your server, You may choose to install all or some of the modules. Each module offers a set of features and you can also install them later or remove them if unused.
The full list of modules available can be found on the official features page.
You can always open a terminal and from there use
apt-get, but the goal of Zentyal is to be usable also by lesser skilled people, and so most of the administration is doable via a secure (https), web-interface, with the modules you have choose to install.
Under Zentyal’s Professional and Enterprise Subscription services, there are additional capabilities (services and addons) that can be added to the default Zentyal installation. The services, which includes Quality Assured Software Updates, Virtual MSP, Advanced Security Updates, Virtual CIO, Disaster Recovery, and VoIP Calls, are available viaZentyal Cloud and addons.
Zentyal offers a full solution if compared with Webmin, you have both the operating system and the web management interface and this is really usefull.
Zentyal is based on Ubuntu, and as that’s the leading desktop distro, so you’re likely to be familiar with it, or with Debian taht uses the same package manager.
Can be a good solution for a small company that needs a central server for deliver network services without a dedicated system administrator.